If you aren't a runner you can be and it's easier than you think.

Why run, you say?

How would you like to feel better every day, have energy you didn't know you had and be happier, healthier and leaner?

You can be all that if you'll start running. But I have a plan for you that will make becomeing a runner easier than you ever thought it could be.

If you're like me, and I used to do this, you see a see someone our for a jog by your house or on your way to work and you think, "What a waste. How painful that looks. That looks terribly exhausting. Why would anyone want to torture themselves with like this?"

Running FeetIf that's you I have a surprise for you about becoming a runner. It doesn't have to be that way.

Here's how I started running over six months ago and believe me when I say I have never felt better in my life.

1. Change your thinking. Running isn't supposed to be flat out sprinting. It isn't even something that need be done to the point that you're totally out of breath the whole time. Going for a run should be easy. Start thinking of it that way.

2. Get a decent pair of shoes. And you don't need fancy over designed, over padded, high dollar shoes either. In fact many runners these days are finding less stress on their bodies and fewer injuries by switching to a more minimal style of shoe. My favorites are are the Merrill Trail Glove and the Skecher Gobionic. These shoes are very minimal and are zero drop meaning those no elevation at the heal. If you've been wearing bulky heavily padded tennis shoes for your activities you probably should not start with these. But I would suggest investing in a pair of shoes that are more on the minimal side. The less stuff your shoe tries to do to your foot that's unnatural the better. And all that fancy padding is unnatural.

Runners3. Keep it minimal. Along the same lines of keeping your shoes minimal I also say keep your running minimal until your body adjusts to this new activity. What I mean is that you aren't going to go out and start running five miles your first week -- not even three miles. Don't even think about distance or speed -- shoot for time. Twenty minutes at a time, three days a week is a great way to look at your first few weeks of running. So along with changing your thinking about becoming a runner and understanding that running is not sprinting or going all out as hard as you can, you also need to realize that any distance is better than no distance.

So start small. Here's what I mean. When I started running six months ago I found a Couch to 5K plan and I followed it pretty closely. The beauty of this plan is that it starts you out walking and gradually builds you up to a steady run so that in ten weeks or so you're running about three miles. But in between week one and week ten there's lots of walking with some running evenly spaced in so that your body begins to get accustomed to something it hasn't done in a long time. And before you know it you are going at an easy pace for about thirty minutes.

Happiness4. Go slow. Part of keeping your running minimal is going as slow as you need to go to get a good run in. A good gauge of whether or not you're going slow enough is whether or not you're breathing hard. Any time you feel like you're loosing your breath you need to slow down. Or if you're starting to feel like you're stumbling a bit, dragging a toe or heal, it's time to slow down. There's no hurry. If you're moving and you're not walking you are running. You don't have to break any speed records to be a runner. For me any day I get out for a run, no matter how slow or how far I went, is a big win.

5. Get out the door. For me the hardest part was getting out the door. Especially on those days that were bitter cold this winter. But discovered that in the first couple of minutes I was very glad that I got out the door. You're going to have days you don't feel like running. Just tell yourself you don't have to go far, and you don't have to go fast and before you know it you'll be telling yourself you don't want to go back home yet.

Becoming a runner is a life changer for the better. So get out there and get started TODAY. You'll be glad you did, and people will be asking you why you're so much happer these days.

So what's your biggest obstacle to starting the good habit of running?